September 21, 2023

How North Korean magazines undermined 1980’s Soviet propaganda

The magazines, a throwback to old-school Stalinism, were widely derided by Soviet dissidents

Imagine it is 1988 in Moscow and you are waiting to get your haircut at the local barbershop. While waiting, you browse through the magazines on the nearby table. These magazines consist of the typical Soviet propaganda drivel but one magazine, with its vibrant cover photo of a smiling Asian peasant, sticks out. You pick up the magazine, titled “Korea,” and begin to scroll through the pages. 

You soon realize that this magazine is from North Korea and it is even more outlandish and bizarre than Soviet propaganda.